The Drowning Girl by Caitlín R. Kiernan is a beautiful circuitous story about haunting, mermaids, werewolves and art. The narrator, a woman named Imp, is schizophrenic and she’s telling the story of the two times she met Eva Canning, a ghost or mermaid or werewolf.
She doesn’t tell the story straightforwardly, and that’s part of how it all works. The chronology gets all messed up and she berates herself for procrastinating, and there are short stories that fit into the mix. It’s beautiful, but you have to give up desire to have things clearly laid out for you. If you can do that, the language and thoughts about art and suicide are all very very worth being haunted by.
A haunting, unearthly story that will stay with you long after you finish the book. The Drowning Girl is also a rare gem in having a mentally ill protagonist portrayed with depth and nuance. Imp's schizophrenia and OCD have a profound impact on the narrative, but without being the center of the story or making her into a tragic figure.
This was my introduction to Kiernan's work, and I'm on board for as much as I can get my hands on. She weaves a narrative out of disparate elements, most notably the existence of paradox without resolution.
So much loveliness in the darkness. I can't understand some reviewers who didn't like it (although, granted, no writing is for everyone).
This book seems really interesting for the right kind of reader, but I just couldn't get through it. The narrative keeps stopping and starting so much that it has no momentum. Maybe I just prefer Kiernan's short works.
Caitlin R. Kiernan is an amazing writer. Everytime I read one of her books I feel like a voyeur because she bares her soul like no other writer does. The good. The bad. The ugly. And the beautiful. It's all here in this book which feels to me like her most personal yet.
Echoes of Peter's Straub's seminal Ghost Story echo through out this book. Anything I can say about Kiernan's work will diminish her talent.
This is poignant. This is raw. This is as real as it gets.
We are all ghosts.
Straub showed us that. Kiernan reminds us of that. Remind does a disservice to this book. The Drowning Girl makes it personal.
I am in awe.
Bram Stoker Award winner for best novel 2012
Remarkable novel from a unique writer. I've also read her earlier "The Red Tree"; I think this one is stonger.
I was really disappointed in this book. It is really slow and can be somewhat hard to follow at times. I couldn't get past chapter 3.
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